Find Answers to Your Questions About Foot Care and Injury Prevention

Our Palm Desert podiatry team fields questions daily. Do you have a question about how to manage your foot pain? Do you have a question about the safety of a current footwear fad? Do you want to know more about foot and ankle injury prevention? If so, we hope you find the answers you need here.

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  • What is causing pain on top of my teen’s foot?

    Pain on the top of your teen’s foot can be a sign of a stress fracture, especially if your son or daughter participates in sports or activities that involve repetitive stress on the feet – like running long distances or jumping in basketball.

    If your teenager is going through a growth spurt, however, the problem may be the result of tarsal coalition – an issue that is present at birth but doesn’t show up until bones start maturing. In this case, individual bones grow together improperly, causing pain on the top or outside of the foot. It can also result in fatigue, muscle spasms, and stiffness.

    If your teenager is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best to make an appointment with us so we can assess your teen’s foot, determine what’s behind the problem, and put a treatment plan in place.

    To make an appointment with our Palm Desert, CA office, simply call (760) 568-0108 or fill out our online contact form. 

  • Why elevate an Injury?

    In many cases, R.I.C.E. is the first step to treating an injury and starting the recovery process. The acronym stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

    Taking a break from activities allows your body time to heal as it rests. Icing and compressing the injury by wrapping it with an elastic bandage can help minimize pain and swelling. This is also the benefit that comes when you elevate an injury. By propping up your injured limb, raising it above heart level if possible, excess fluid is able to drain away from the injury, thus reducing inflammation in the area.

    If you are hurt, you can begin treating your injury with the R.I.C.E. method. However, if the injury involves your lower limbs, it is best to make an appointment with Dr. Harvey Danciger so he can assess the situation and determine if further treatment is necessary.

    Contact our Palm Desert, CA office by using our online form or by calling (760) 568-0108. We’ll make sure you get on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.

  • How does compression help an injury?

    “Compression” is generally regarded as the least understood and most often skipped portion of the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) protocol for post-injury pain and swelling management. But don’t underestimate its value.

    An elastic bandage or other compression gear helps in a couple of ways. First, although it doesn’t truly provide full immobilization, compression limits the amount of motion at the site of injury and provides extra support for weakened or strained muscles. Additionally, compression helps keep your circulation running at peak efficiency, preventing fluids from pooling at the site of the injury, delivering oxygen and nutrients and removing waste products. In combination, these processes help prevent further damage and encourage faster healing.

    If you’ve sustained a foot or ankle injury, let Dr. Harvey Danciger in Palm Desert, CA help you manage your pain and swelling and get you in the fast lane to recovery. With a mix of traditional and advanced therapy techniques (including laser therapy), there’s a lot we can offer. Request an appointment online, or call 760-568-0108.

  • Can physical therapy speed foot injury recovery?

    Yes! Physical therapy and laser therapy are often recommended as part of a comprehensive treatment and rehab plan for a host of foot and ankle injuries and issues, including bunion and hammertoe surgery, heel pain, neuropathy conditions, joint problems, and more.

    Physical therapy as well as laser treatments, when assigned and performed correctly, can help you regain range of motion, strengthen supporting muscles and tendons, reduce swelling, and improve circulation, which helps your body heal faster by delivering more oxygen to starving tissues and filtering waste products more efficiently.

    At first it may not feel like physical therapy is helping, but stick with it! Harvey Danciger, DPM cares deeply about getting you back to full health as quickly as possible; following your therapy instructions (whether part of a conservative treatment plan or postoperative rehabilitation) is an important step in this process. To schedule an appointment with the doctor at our Palm Desert, CA podiatry office, contact us online or dial 760-568-0108 today.

  • How can I prevent an ankle injury?

    By following some quick and easy safety tips, you can vastly reduce your chances of ankle injuries. Think of your ankles like playing golf.  Before you can go out and play your first game, you have to strengthen your muscles, practice and train your swing, and purchase the correct equipment.  This conditioning method is the same to prevent an ankle injury.

    First you have to improve your ankles through balancing and strengthening exercises like standing on one foot in line at the grocery store.  Give yourself time to adjust to a new activity. If you’re a beginner at running, don’t decide to start with a 5-mile run.  Also, purchasing shoes that fit correctly and aren’t too tight is crucial to decreasing your chances of injury.

    Dr. Harvey Danciger treats ankle injuries as well as other podiatric ailments.  Visit our Palm Desert, CA office, or call (760) 568-0108 to schedule an appointment.

  • How should I treat a sprained toe at home?

    A sprained toe is a more minor injury but one that still warrants the correct sprained toe care to ensure that it doesn’t get injured any further.

    It doesn’t take much to sprain a toe—jamming it into something, landing wrong after jumping, or just stubbing it on the corner of the coffee table can create the injury. You may experience some mild swelling for the first couple of days. It may be difficult to push off of the toe and some lingering pain could reside after a few days.

    To care for your toe, rest the foot, apply ice, and keep your leg elevated when possible. You can also promote healing by “buddy taping” the injured toe to the neighboring toe to limit movement.

    If you have a toe injury and these simple actions fail to alleviate your pain, it may indeed be a fracture. Contact Dr. Harvey Danciger at our office in Palm Desert, CA, by calling (760) 568-0108 for an appointment.

  • What are the benefits of elevating an injury?

    The main thing elevating an injury does is reduce swelling. Your blood is subject to gravity. It takes a complex network of valves and heartbeats to keep it moving through your circulatory system. When you injure your foot or ankle, it may bleed, and your body rushes extra blood cells to fight infection, causing the damaged area to swell. Elevating your injured foot or ankle above the level of your heart reduces the pull of gravity. Your heart doesn’t have to work as hard, and blood is less likely to pool in your lower limbs and make them swell. Reducing the pressure of the extra fluid can alleviate pain as well.

    If you have an injury, rest, ice, elevate, and contact Harvey R. Danciger, DPM in Palm Desert, CA. We will determine your exact injury and guide you to the best treatment. Call (760) 568-0108 or request an appointment online.

  • When should I use Ice after an injury?

    Ice therapy should be used during the first 72 hours following an injury.  If you have poor circulation, diabetes or other medical conditions that would make using ice dangerous do not use ice without speaking to your doctor.

     

    After an injury, ice will be used to decrease the inflammation and swelling to the area.  Do not put ice directly on the skin, but you should have a towel between the ice and the area you are applying the ice to.  You can leave the ice on for 15 minutes per hour for the first few hours then may apply ice every 2-3 hours after that.

     

    Rest and elevation along with compression may also help.

  • Did I fracture my sesamoid?

    The sesamoids are two pea-sized bones located on the bottom of the big toe joint in the ball of the foot. They are actually embedded within a tendon and serve as “pulleys” so the big toe can move normally.

    When the sesamoids or surrounding tendons become irritated and inflamed, the condition is called sesamoiditis. These bones are also vulnerable to fracture. Immediate pain and swelling underneath your big toe joint after a direct blow could mean you have a sesamoid fracture. Longstanding pain in this same area that comes and goes with activity and rest may indicate a stress fracture that has developed over time.

    If you have these symptoms, we will most likely need to do an X-ray or other imaging to confirm a true fracture. If that is the diagnosis, we have several conservative treatment options to help resolve your pain and ensure the injury does not happen again. Contact Harvey R. Danciger, DPM with any concerns or more information at (760) 569-0108.

  • How did I get a sore toe?

    If you have recently stubbed or jammed it, the lingering soreness could be from bruising. If it is really painful when moved, you may have even sprained or fractured it. Redness or swelling near the side of the toenail may be due to an ingrown toenail. A corn on the top of a toe or in between two toes that rubs inside your shoes could cause pain.

    A painful big toe may be due to a condition called hallux limitus, which is a stiffening of the toe joint. Gout—a form of arthritis—can attack the big toe joint. A deformity such as bunions or hammertoes could also cause discomfort. Morton’s neuroma and metatarsalgia are two conditions that cause ball of foot pain that can radiate into the toes.

    With so many possible causes, it is important to see Dr. Harvey Danciger to get an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment for toe pain. Contact our office at (760) 568-0108 to make an appointment. 

  • What is causing my foot pain and swelling?

    Swelling is from a build up of fluid and could be caused by a foot or ankle injury such as a sprain. Obesity, pregnancy complications, infection, blood clot and venous insufficiency are other reasons for swelling. Foot pain can stem from poor foot structure, stress on bones, ligament damage, tendon or muscle strain, toenail problems, or nerve damage. Heel pain could be from plantar fasciitis or a heel spur, ball of foot pain could be metatarsalgia or sesamoiditis, and flatfeet or high arches could cause arch pain. Other common causes of foot pain include bunions, hammertoes, arthritis, tendonitis, sprains, and fractures.

    Dr. Harvey Danciger should evaluate any symptoms of pain and swelling that last beyond a day or two. See us at the beginning of your symptoms so we can identify the root of your problem and provide effective treatment. Call our Palm Desert, CA office at (760) 568-0108 to make an appointment. 

  • How do I know if I have athlete's foot?

    Athlete’s foot is a very common infection that is caused by a fungus. You may also hear it referred to as tinea pedis, ringworm of the foot, or moccasin foot. It can worsen and become painful without treatment, so knowing the signs and symptoms will enable you to catch it and treat it quickly.

    There are a variety of symptoms but the most common are: cracking or peeling skin in between your toes or on the soles of your feet, itching, stinging, burning, and extremely dry skin on the bottom of your feet.  You may also have thick and/or discolored toenails, indicating a fungal infection in the toenails which can occur with Athlete’s foot.

    This infection can spread to your palms, groin, and other parts of your body as well as to other people. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t wait to contact Dr. Harvey Danciger for treatment. Call our office in Palm Desert, CA at (760) 568-0108. 

  • Why does icing reduce swelling?

    Whether to treat acute injuries, which are traumatic and happen suddenly, or chronic pain from injuries that develop over slowly over time, the RICE protocol is a first line of defense. This involves rest, ice, compression and elevation.

    Icing is a crucial element of this treatment because it reduces swelling. When ice is applied to the site of an injury, it acts as a constricting agent. This causes the surrounding blood vessels to narrow and limits internal bleeding, which then reduces swelling. It is important to remember, though, that blood flow is the body’s natural response to help with healing, so icing should only be used for short periods of time. Always apply the ice on top of a cloth, not directly to the skin, and ice for 10 minutes on, then 30 minutes off.

    For more information or if you are in need of treatment for an injury, call Dr. Harvey Danciger at our office in Palm Desert, CA at (760) 568-0108.

  • I broke my toe. Do I need surgery?

    A broken toe can happen in a moment if you drop something heavy on your foot, stub it on the corner of a table, or jam in a sports game. This type of break would be called an acute injury, but another kind of break called a stress fracture can happen over time with repeated trauma to the toe.

     

    An open fracture where the bone is protruding out of the skin will most definitely need surgery to repair the toe. Other broken toes can usually be treated without the need for surgery. Buddy taping is a common form of treatment where the toe is immobilized by taping it to a neighboring toe. This usually allows the fracture to heal within four to six weeks. If the break is severe and involves your big toe, a cast and/or surgery may be required to make sure the toe heals properly. Without the right treatment, infection can set in or the toe could be at risk for osteoarthritis in the future.

     

    If you have pain and swelling that is not subsiding, contact Dr. Harvey Danciger for diagnosis and treatment. Make an appointment by calling our Palm Desert, CA office at (760) 568-0108.

  • What is the difference between a sprain and a fracture?

    When you have foot or ankle pain that develops over time, it can be difficult to know the nature of your injury. Sprains and fractures have symptoms in common, but a few telling differences will help identify your injury.

    A sprain is the stretching or tearing of ligaments. For example, rolling your ankle beyond its normal range of motion can damage ligaments on the outside of the ankle. Pain, swelling, bruising, and inflammation are common symptoms that vary in intensity depending on the degrees of the sprain.

    A fracture is an actual break in a bone. It could be a small hairline fracture or a complete break that protrudes out of the skin. Pain around soft tissue areas usually indicates a sprain, but when it is felt over bone and you are not able to walk on your foot, there is a chance a break has occurred. It is important to seek immediate treatment if you feel numbness, weakness, or your symptoms do not improve in a couple of days. Walking around on a fracture can complicate the healing process and result in chronic pain or instability.

    Contact Dr. Harvey Danciger to start the right treatment quickly if you suspect a sprain or a fracture. Call our office at (760) 568-0108 or make an appointment online.

  • What can be done for a stubbed toe?

    Your toe against the corner of the coffee table can be one of those things that go bump in the night. A stubbed toe can happen to anyone at any time and can be very painful. We grit our teeth and hop around holding our foot until the pain subsides. Often times, the pain from stubbing your toe passes after a short amount of time. There are moments though when jamming your toe hard enough can actually cause a fracture in a bone; this often happens with the pinky toe.

    If you have stubbed your toe and it is minor in nature, give it some rest and some ice to keep the swelling down. You may need to change your footwear for a few days so there is no extra pressure on the toe while it heels. There may be some black-and-blue bruising which would indicate a more serious injury. Sometimes a stub can cause the nail to lift a bit. If it just involves the tip, leave it alone and allow it to heal. If you see bleeding and the nail coming loose at its base, you need to have it looked at, as it could mean that the joint of the toe has been compromised.

    If you have significant pain or if your toe is pointing in an abnormal position, do not wait to have it treated. There may be a hairline fracture or a clean break through the bone, in which case it would need to be set in place. If the toe is not realigned properly or does not heal normally, you could experience chronic pain and problems. Call Dr. Danciger for an appointment at (760) 568-0108 if you have any concerns about your toes or an injury that needs treatment.

  • I have hurt my Achilles tendon, what can be done?

    Your Achilles tendon is actually the strongest and largest tendon in your body and is essential for pretty much every activity. It is also the most frequently ruptured tendon, often as a sports or overuse injury.

    If you have ruptured your Achilles tendon, you can attest to the pain and discomfort this type of injury can cause. To remind everyone what symptoms to look for, this injury will cause inflammation, pain and tenderness in the back of the leg above the heel.

    There are many treatment options that Dr. Harvey Danciger, foot and ankle specialist in Palm Desert, CA, can provide depending on the severity of your injury. Simple bandaging to restrict motion can be effective as well as anti-inflammatory medications. Rest and stretching exercises to strengthen the weakened muscles are also important. Dr. Danciger has helped many patients in his Palm Desert, CA podiatric office suffering with an Achilles tendon injury with the use of custom orthotics. These are shoe inserts that support the muscles in your foot and help relieve pain.

    If you have had an Achilles injury that is not healing properly or are concerned that you may be susceptible to one based on your activities, see Dr. Danciger for a thorough foot exam and possible treatment. You can schedule an appointment by calling our office at (760) 568-0108.